Michael Crawford's recently reviewed the new "animated" Spawn line. While I guess you could call Michael Crawford "competition", I don't really have a problem with him and I enjoy his reviews.
However, I have to point out how ridiculous the following statements are when discussing a line of figures that is just as statuesque as anything McFarlane toys has put out in the past three years:
...there's one demographic he hasn't reached, and one that could be argued is necessary to get the character to the eventual place that characters like Superman and Spider-man are already at. He needs to reach kids.
That's been largely impossible, due to the graphic and violent nature of the character and the story. Is it possible to alter the tone of Spawn, bringing it down a notch, and still manage to produce a story that has wide appeal? That's the challenge that Mcfarlane has undertaken with the Spawn series 30.
This line has moved the character's design to an animated appearance. If that's all they'd done, you could simply attribute the move to looking at innovative ways to breathe life into the action figure line, at least for one series. But there's more to it than that - there's also a revamped story line as part of an online comic, which tones down the violence and even the origin of the character.
Now, either Michael is off his rocker, or McToys is, but there is just no way a line of plastic statues that offer no movement or play value beyond a couple of interchangeable heads and limbs is going to attract kids. Kids, as far as I know, play with their toys. It is kinda cool that there is some usefulness with the swappable heads and limbs on certain figures, but these things are pure statues.
I mean, I guess kids will just bang their figures around anyway and don't need ML articulation, but still, I find it a stretch that these are "Spawn...you know, for kids!"